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When Can I Be Negligent as a Pedestrian Under Virginia Law?

red car waiting at crosswalk as pedestrians cross the street

Many people are told growing up, whether by parents or teachers or a driver’s education instruction, that a pedestrian always has the right of way in any encounter with a motor vehicle, but this is actually not always the case. Instead, Virginia law provides pedestrians with their own set of independent duties under Virginia law. If an accident occurs and it is determined to be as a result of the pedestrian’s actions, then the pedestrian’s own ability to recover for whatever damages he or she suffered in such an accident may be completely eliminated if the jury determines the pedestrian’s actions were even 1% responsible for the accident.

Nevertheless, if you were a pedestrian involved in an accident with a motor vehicle and you may have played some in causing the accident, all hope is not lost. The experienced Virginia personal injury attorneys of Kalfus & Nachman have represented pedestrians before who may not have been following the letter of Virginia law and became involved in an accident with a motor vehicle as a result. We were able to successfully resolve their claims for them even though the other party argued that the pedestrian bore some fault in the accident in which they were injured and tried to prevent our clients from recovering for their injuries suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence.

Virginia Law Governing Pedestrians

Under Virginia law, motor vehicles have an obligation to stop for pedestrians who are in a crosswalk, whether the crosswalk is marked or not. Virginia law also provides, however, that no pedestrian shall enter or cross an intersection in disregard of approaching traffic. Pedestrians are required to cross the road, wherever possible, only at intersections or marked crosswalks. It further provides that, when crossing highways, pedestrians are not to carelessly or maliciously interfere with the orderly passage of vehicles. Virginia law also prohibits pedestrians from stepping into a highway where they cannot be seen by oncoming traffic.

Virginia’s Contributory Negligence Rule and Pedestrian Accidents

Virginia has a particularly unforgiving rule known as contributory negligence. What this means is that, even if a person is 1% responsible for an accident in which that person is injured, that person cannot recover from anyone else who may have had a role in causing the accident. Therefore, if you are a pedestrian who was injured in an accident but you had a role in causing the accident in which you were injured, you need to ensure that you have an experienced attorney on your side who can explain to the jury why it was that the motorist’s actions, rather than your own actions, that caused the accident in which you were injured.

Contact Kalfus & Nachman if You Are A Virginia Pedestrian Who Was Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident

At Kalfus & Nachman, our experienced Virginia personal injury attorneys have recovered millions in compensation for our clients who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. We have faced the scenario before where a pedestrian we represent may not have been blameless in connection with an incident in which our client was injured. We know the ways to emphasize to a jury why it is that the driver that hit our client is 100% at fault in causing our client’s injuries. Therefore, if you live in the Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach or Roanoke, Virginia, areas and have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in a motor vehicle accident or in any other scenario, then please contact Kalfus & Nachman PC by phone today at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation regarding your particular situation.

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